Your first stop at Big Thicket National Preserve should be the visitor center. Here, staff will assist you with orientation to the many units of the Preserve and the surrounding region. The facility is located seven miles north of Kountze, Texas, on U.S. Highway 69 at the junction of FM 420. The visitor center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. The street address is 6102 FM 420, Kountze, Texas 77625. The phone is 409-951-6700.
The visitor center provides many opportunities to discover the rich diversity of resources found in the Preserve. You can view an orientation film, browse the many exhibits, examine "hands on" items in the Discovery Room, or peruse our broad selection of sales items.
The Discovery Room
Features the interactive Discovery Station, which interprets many different aspects of fire ecology and fire-fighting. Visitors can also look through a microscope at a feather or insect wing, see how a river ecosystem functions, see models of venous snakes, and learn more about the diversity of the Big Thicket.
Big Thicket: America's First National Preserve, is our 16-minute orientation program. It covers the cultural and natural history of the Big Thicket area and includes narratives from Preserve staff and long-term local residents.
The "Users Guide to the Big Thicket" takes viewers on a 26-minute tour of several of the Preserve ecosystems with a National Park Ranger Naturalist.
Did You Know?
Tourism in the Big Thicket area dates back to 1845. A spa located in Sour Lake, catered to the likes of Sam Houston and sold the "sour" water to tourists